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New study: Employers must do more to support menopausal women

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2023 - 2:27pm
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2023 - 9:31am

Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or sleep disturbances can negatively impact women in the workplace and cost billions in lost work time. That’s according to a new study by the Mayo Clinic

Menopause is diagnosed 12 months after a person’s last menstrual cycle. But leading up to that point, and even after, women can experience debilitating symptoms, which can take a toll at work.

"We found some pretty staggering numbers, of the 4,440 women that replied to the survey, we found that 597, which is about 13%, reported at least one adverse work outcome," said Dr. Jewel Kling, assistant director of the Mayo Clinic’s Women's Health Center in Scottsdale. "And 485, so we’ll just say 11% reported missing work."

The report estimates that $1.8 billion is lost in work time per year in the United States — and more than $26 billion annually when medical expenses are added.

Kling says more needs to be done to support menopausal women at work, so they don't leave prematurely.

She pointed to the NHS, the United Kingdom's health system, as an example of an organization that is creating a more menopause-friendly work environment.

Science Aging Gender Health + Medicine